Sat, Nov 28, 2020
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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Inslee getting tough on Yakima County

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On Sunday, there were 455 new coronavirus cases confirmed. The state has confirmed 28,680 cases out of 474,938 tests for the novel coronavirus, including 1,270 deaths, according to the state Department of Health. A total of 4.4% of people diagnosed in Washington have died. A 106-year-old woman from Yakima has reportedly recovered from COVID-19. Pacific County still has only 12 confirmed cases. Nationally, through Sunday there have been 2,290,936 confirmed cases and 120,643 deaths. The USA leads the world with the most cases, and Brazil is second at 1,085,038. New York has the most cases in America at 396,452, followed by California (178,227), New Jersey (172,567), Illinois (136,762) and Texas (111,601).

Gov. Jay Inslee said he would order Yakima County residents to wear masks while shopping or in other public places. Inslee said the proclamation will be issued in the next several days and be a legal requirement that will order businesses not to sell to customers who don't wear face coverings.

The rate of COVID-19 spread in Yakima County is 27 times that of King County, the state's largest county. A total of 700 people per 100,000 were diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past two weeks in Yakima County, according to DOH. That's up from 638 as of Thursday.

Inslee said Saturday, "Essentially this means, no masks, no services. No masks, no goods. This is the next step. Frankly, it is not necessarily the last step to mitigate measures in Yakima County. We are going to be swamped with a tidal wave of COVID-19 if we do not act now."

Incorrect Testing Numbers

The State of Washington has been reporting incorrect COVID-19 testing numbers for eight weeks by overcounting the number of people who have tested negative. The state Department of Health (DOH) revealed June 17 that the state dashboard has shown 13 percent more people testing negative since April 21 than actually have. According to a DOH news release, the inflated numbers were a result of a workaround that was used to handle the high volume of negative tests, The state dashboard was supposed to display negative molecular tests, which detect an active coronavirus infection, but accidentally also included negative antibody tests, which show whether a person has been exposed at some point in the past.

The error was the result of a missing line of code. DOH also had problems reporting its data last March when its disease reporting system was flooded with case data, which stopped the state from publicly reporting the number of new COVID-19 cases, preventing state and health officials, and the public, from seeing the full picture of the virus's spread.

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